Highlands Community Church Rocked By Further Allegations of Derek Nelson’s Inappropriate Conduct and Grooming Behavior Towards High School Student Males.

 

Supernova in the Large Magellinic Cloud. NASA

“Rekao sam ti,” he whispers in my ear.
“What does that mean?” I say.
“I told you so in Croatian. You didn’t say I couldn’t say it in Croatian.”
― Zoe Sugg, Girl Online


Highlands Community Church, WA, terminated Derek Nelson’s employment because it appeared he had abused two adults.

I wrote the following on 7/8/20  A TWW Tutorial: How to Ask Intelligent Questions About What Happened to Victims at Highlands Community Church, WA. Here is the statement from the church. The area in bold is my question at the time.

June 11, 2020

Highlands Family, we have some difficult news to share with you today regarding the termination of Derek Nelson’s employment at Highlands and the circumstances surrounding his termination. Please watch the video above as Lead Pastor Jesse Campbell and Chairman of the Elder Board Glenn Joslin share a statement from Highlands.

It is my understanding that Derek Nelson was responsible for the high school program in the church. If this is wrong, could someone correct me?

Within the last two weeks, Highlands leadership was made aware of accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior committed by Derek Nelson against multiple adults. The very minute we were approached with this information, we took action. The accusations have been investigated and confirmed to be accurate, including by Derek’s own admission. Immediately upon confirmation that the accusations were true, Derek Nelson’s employment at Highlands was terminated.

Dee was immediately suspicious since the church used the term “adults,” yet Nelson was in charge of the high school program. So, I asked the following question in the post.

(From the church)We grieve for the adult victims and recognize their courage in coming forward. Please join us in praying for them. We will be doing everything we can to provide them with ongoing care and support, including professional counseling independent from Highlands.

(My response) Please note these two words: adult and victims.
What does the church mean by adults? Does this simply mean that all of the victims were of consenting age? The age of consent in Washington state is 16. Were any of these adults 16, 17 or 18?
Were any of these victims members of the high school program at the church? In other words, they were of legal age to give consent to a sexual act but were still in high school?
If they were victims, did they consent to these sexual acts?
If they did not give consent, this would be a matter for law enforcement. Was law enforcement contacted?
Has the church counseled the victims not to ask for legal redress in this matter? According to their stand on abuse in marriage, it appears that they do not believe the victims should seek any legal redress outside of asking for the involvement by law enforcement.

I suggested they hire GRACE.

The church lost three pastors, two of who were abusive and hired GRACE.

On December 20, 2020, I wrote{Updated} What a Mess! Highlands Community Church, Renton, WA, Lost Three Pastors (Two Due to Abusive Behavior) and Finds Itself in Crisis Mode. Finally, They Hired GRACE.

The church was experiencing a crisis on many fronts and finally decided it needed help. It will help if you read the story about what happened with the pastors who quit. What a disaster, but GRACE is now involved.

The church got sued. No surprise there, but the GRACE investigation was put on hold.

On September 20, 2021, I wrote Highlands Community Church, Renton, Washington, Settles With One Victim and Gets Sued By Another While the GRACE Investigation Is On Hold. Given the mess with the pastors and the apparent lack of initial action by the elders, I said the entire elder board should be terminated. It was no surprise that the church got sued by two victims. At the time of this writing, one settlement had been reached. It looked like the victim got a payout. There was still one lawsuit ongoing. Due to that lawsuit, GRACE has to pause its investigation. GRACE also had to pause due to the need to get an investigation certification by Washington State.

I almost forgot, they got some “leadership training” group that was supposed to train the leaders how to be leaders. Read the posts.

Today, Dee’s hunch (aka The Wartburg Tingle) is proved right.

Here is the letter sent out from Highlands Community Church. I had this sent to me by several people. Let’s see the error that they made. Do you remember the question I had in my initial post above?

What does the church mean by adults? Does this simply mean that all of the victims were of consenting age? The age of consent in Washington state is 16. Were any of these adults 16, 17 or 18?

Were any of these victims members of the high school program at the church?

They dropped the ball and never questioned the high school ministry—a fatal mistake.

Our initial internal investigation confirmed that the allegations made by the two initial victims agreed closely with Derek’s confession. Thus, our initial conclusion was that an independent investigation was unnecessary. However, subsequent to these events, concerns about Derek were raised by some parents who have been connected to our high school ministry over the years. These concerns involved accusations of inappropriate pastoral conduct and grooming behavior by Derek towards males. In light of these concerns and Derek’s long involvement with Student Ministries, we decided to pursue further investigation into these matters. In August 2020, we began searching for a partner to perform an investigation, and we announced our engagement with GRACE in October 2020.

How in the world did they conclude that there were only two victims? This is the problem that I have with these elders. They are naive and should not be in their positions. High school parents said that Nelson exhibited “inappropriate pastoral conduct towards the males in the high school group along with grooming behavior.

Also, since the second lawsuit was settled (think $$$), GRACE will start their investigation by September 12, 2022, which means they should be on the scenes now.

Finally, I can’t say this enough. This church has experienced chaos since 2020. This is an example of the failure of the elders on all fronts. Caveat Emptor and all that jazz.

Dear Highlands family,

 

We are writing to update you that the GRACE investigation, which we first announced in October 2020, will be resuming this month. Because it’s been nearly two years since the beginning of the investigation, and because the investigation has been paused for one year, we also want to provide context for why we’re doing this investigation and let you know that our elders will be hosting a meeting to discuss these things and answer questions you may have. Details about this meeting are below.

 

What happened that warrants an investigation at Highlands?

In May-June 2020, two males brought accusations of sexual misconduct forward against a former pastor at Highlands, Derek Nelson. These men served in ministry with Derek at Highlands for years, and Derek was involved in counseling them as well. Upon receiving these accusations, our leadership team investigated the situation and determined the accusations were credible. Derek also confessed to “having crossed a line” and identified both individuals making the accusations. Immediately Derek Nelson’s employment at Highlands was terminated.

 

Our initial internal investigation confirmed that the allegations made by the two initial victims agreed closely with Derek’s confession. Thus, our initial conclusion was that an independent investigation was unnecessary. However, subsequent to these events, concerns about Derek were raised by some parents who have been connected to our high school ministry over the years. These concerns involved accusations of inappropriate pastoral conduct and grooming behavior by Derek towards males. In light of these concerns and Derek’s long involvement with Student Ministries, we decided to pursue further investigation into these matters. In August 2020, we began searching for a partner to perform an investigation, and we announced our engagement with GRACE in October 2020.

 

In hindsight, we wish we would have initiated with GRACE sooner as a way of immediately providing a safe outlet for any potential victims. Additionally, given Derek’s long tenure in Student Ministries, we could have better equipped our church to understand grooming behaviors and encouraged parents to ask their students about anything inappropriate they may have experienced. We now require all elders, staff, and Next Gen ministry volunteers to take sexual abuse and grooming awareness training at least once every two years.

 

Why are we partnering with GRACE for an investigation?

By partnering with GRACE, we are committing to pursue an independent, third-party investigation into our church in order to provide an additional safe, independent avenue for any additional victims to come forward. In addition, GRACE’s investigation will assess our church’s historical practices to help us identify any vulnerabilities we may have had in order that we might put every defense possible in place to prevent this in the future.

 

GRACE, which stands for Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment, is the leading evangelical organization specializing in awareness, education, and investigations of sexual abuse handling by religious organizations. GRACE’s team has extensive professional experience interviewing victims of abuse, perpetrators of abuse, and witnesses with relevant testimony. Their desire is to get to the truth of the matter so that compassion and assistance can be demonstrated to those who have been hurt and the institutional leaders can be equipped to make the necessary organizational changes that will create a safer community for the vulnerable and a less safe community for those who abuse. You can learn more about GRACE on their website: https://www.netgrace.org/

 

Why was the GRACE investigation paused and when will it resume?

The GRACE investigation was paused in August of 2021 for two reasons. First, GRACE became aware of an administrative issue related to their license to conduct investigations in Washington State. This issue has since been resolved. Second, one of the two known victims filed a civil suit naming Highlands and Derek Nelson as defendants. GRACE’s policy is to pause any investigation until any outstanding suits are resolved. We are thankful that a settlement was reached in July 2022 and the suit was dismissed in August 2022. We have been diligently working with GRACE to resume the investigation as soon as possible, and they have confirmed it will resume no later than September 12, 2022. We will share any updates about this as soon as we can.

 

What steps is Highlands taking to safeguard children and students?

Highlands has taken steps to evaluate and improve our safety policies to ensure our church is a safe and trustworthy place for everyone, especially our children and students. In addition to the national background check and multiple reference check requirements we have already had in place, we now require sexual abuse and grooming awareness training for all elders, staff, and Next Gen ministry volunteers at least once every two years. We are also committed to taking additional steps as needed to safeguard our congregation based on recommendations from the GRACE report.

 

Meeting with the Elders

We realize this is a heavy subject and it may affect each of us differently. If you have questions or things you’d like to discuss related to the GRACE investigation, you’re invited to a meeting with the elders on Sunday September 18 at 6:30 pm in the Worship Center, following our prayer gathering at 5:00 pm. We will do our best to answer your questions as transparently as possible. Additionally, as always, you are free to contact the elders through the elder portal if you would like to ask a question or arrange a meeting with the elders.

 

If you have experienced abuse or trauma of any kind in the past, we grieve with you and want to walk with you as a church. If you would benefit from care or a referral to professional counseling, please contact Pastor Barry Brenden at barryb@highlandscc.org. If you prefer to contact a public organization, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center may be a helpful resource for you: https://www.kcsarc.org/contact.

 

We are deeply grieved by the sin and pain that has taken place in our church. Please join us in praying for God’s healing for the two victims who initially came forward and those who may come forward through the GRACE investigation. Please also pray that the investigation would bring truth to light and make Highlands a safer place for all people. May the Lord be glorified in each of us and in His church.

The Board of Elders

Highlands Community Church


Comments

Highlands Community Church Rocked By Further Allegations of Derek Nelson’s Inappropriate Conduct and Grooming Behavior Towards High School Student Males. — 66 Comments

  1. “The age of consent in Washington state is 16. Were any of these adults 16, 17 or 18?
    Were any of these victims members of the high school program at the church? In other words, they were of legal age to give consent to a sexual act but were still in high school?
    If they were victims, did they consent to these sexual acts?
    If they did not give consent, this would be a matter for law enforcement. Was law enforcement contacted?”

    Once again church leadership, aka predators, are safe and comfortable in their target rich hunting ground, aka church, youth groups in particular.

    Church leader predators LOVE youth group boys and girls. But not with the love of Jesus. In this case, LOVE means prey on.

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  2. Ava Aaronson:
    “The age of consent in Washington state is 16. Were any of these adults 16, 17 or 18?
    Were any of these victims members of the high school program at the church? In other words, they were of legal age to give consent to a sexual act but were still in high school?
    If they were victims, did they consent to these sexual acts?
    If they did not give consent, this would be a matter for law enforcement. Was law enforcement contacted?”

    Once again church leadership, aka predators, are safe and comfortable in their target rich hunting ground, aka church, youth groups in particular.

    Church leader predators LOVE youth group boys and girls. But not with the love of Jesus. In this case, LOVE means prey on.

    And with churches and pastors, it hits especially hard, because they are supposed to be trusted.

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  3. We see this again and again at TWW. B$tt covering by leadership… or “touch not my anointed”… or some other version…in current case, definitely “legalese” covering.. ( i.e. BS that a 17 year old in a church group is an adult…. )

    I guess I am just “old-fashioned”….( but, I also know that things were not great in “the olden days”…. Purely a figure of speech).
    I think leaders, especially “religious leaders” should live by the same rules that they preach to the “pew peons”… in fact, I personally do not want “religious leadership” because the standards of behavior that I would impose on myself would probably “disqualify” me in MY own eyes… ( P.S…. I am NOT saying I am predator of the underaged…)

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  4. A speedy return to the form of worship and gathering given us in the NT as how things should be done would end this charade.

    There is no spiritual head honcho anywhere, only Jesus. If we meet in small groups where everyone can have a song, a prayer, or a message, and where one prophet is supposed to sit down and shut up if another prophet has something to say, these things would not happen.

    I know. Too Biblical for the Industrial Christian Shaman Complex.

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  5. “We are thankful that a settlement was reached in July 2022 and the suit was dismissed in August 2022.”
    +++++++++++++

    another Prince Andrew thing

    “thankful” and “dismissed”…. phrased to give the impression that the lawsuit against them was unjustified and on the frivolous side.

    i’m regularly amazed how easily pastors find it to lie by omission, half-truths, embroidered truth, manipulation/misdirection/deflection.

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  6. linda: There is no spiritual head honcho anywhere, only Jesus. If we meet in small groups where everyone can have a song, a prayer, or a message, and where one prophet is supposed to sit down and shut up if another prophet has something to say, these things would not happen.

    With Jesus as the one and only head honcho, and with everyone sharing on level ground, good things can happen in the right direction. It’s basic and fundamental that the ground at the foot of the Cross is level, and there’s room for only one Leader: Jesus*.

    *Jesus never passed the plate, doing neither fundraisers, pledges, nor collections. The only plate he passed had to do with baskets of loaves and fishes that returned with more than were originally there.

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  7. Interesting that the churches story adjusts with further information only after the current victims have settled and the church no longer has skin in the game. So Highlands can change its story but the victims are still held silent by NDA’s. Interesting.
    Yes, I agree with elastigirl ‘thankful’ and ‘dismissed’ still puts no responsibility and ownership on the church. It makes the church out to be the victim in this, as if a church culture where a sexual predator thrived has nothing to own up to. Until they can take responsibility there will be no change. So sick!
    Do not be fooled by ‘nice’ Christians. No-where does Jesus call us to be nice, he calls us to DO justice, love mercy and to walk humbly.

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  8. “How in the world did they conclude that there were only two victims?”

    Easy! They counted the known number! IE. The number he admitted to, and then didn’t bother to look further. It’s either arrogance, or it was on purpose until they realized that they could not hide it anymore.

    I got fed a similar line by a previous pastor and what I wanted to say to him was: “You didn’t know that he was downloading that material until the FBI raided him and he was forced to tell his wife and then church. Then, You didn’t know he was making that material until the FBI charged him and he could not longer hide that fact. The fact of the matter is: YOU DON’T KNOW SQUAT! You only know what he has been caught for, and you only know it because he was caught. So don’t sit here and tell me that there aren’t any victims in our church because he only admitted to one who does not attend our church. He only admits to the things he cannot hide anymore.”

    It doesn’t take that much time to do a little preliminary research and discover that he is following a rather clear pattern and that pattern indicates he will only “repent” when he has run out of other options.

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  9. linda,

    Too true. Ive been training believers in east Asia and the US for 30 years to start simple churches which meet in homes/huts/storefronts/pubs you name it. It’s easy to do, involves no major funding, relies on the Holy Spirit as our teacher through group discovery Bible study and IT WORKS. It’s called by different names all of which revolve around disciples and churches which multiply. Despite its simplicity few people wish to embrace such an approach because it means giving up the celebrity pastor, letting go of seminary training as the mark of a qualified leader and requires everyone in the group to participate, not just sit silently listening to someone sermonize. For those who embrace this approach however it is incredibly freeing to no longer have the professional clergy class telling us what the Bible does and doesn’t mean. It is a delight to listen to the Holy Spirit and come up with our own responsive action steps each week.

    I love learning from my fellow believers many of whom are uneducated and some of whom can’t even read, as they hear the word of God and respond to it in simple but powerful ways.

    With no superstar celebrity leaders there is no temptation to misuse money, little opportunity to abuse others, and every opportunity to be a real community together.

    All that said I’m sure my fellow TWW readers will not be at all surprised to learn that the Theo dudes from major Southern Baptist seminaries have been all over this approach with negative responses. Their main objection focuses on how dangerous it will be because heresy will flourish. Ha ha ha ha ha.

    I have observed less heresy in these discovery groups among uneducated villagers in the last 30 years than I have in the last five years of reading about bad boy pastors on TWW. And I know of hundreds of such groups so my sample size is not small.

    We do not need seminary educated men to tell us what the Bible says. We can all read it or listen to it ourselves then ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. God gives wisdom generously to all without finding fault, and the Holy Spirit was sent -according to Jesus- to be our teacher. What a joy. What freedom.

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  10. “… the entire elder board should be terminated …”

    I find the whole environment at Highlands to be a bit off. Is it possible that churches like this even have members who would meet the Biblical qualifications of elder/pastor? If they terminated them (and they should), are there any candidates in the house who could replace them? Why are folks still attending Highlands?!

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  11. Fisher: We do not need seminary educated men to tell us what the Bible says. We can all read it or listen to it ourselves then ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. God gives wisdom generously to all without finding fault, and the Holy Spirit was sent -according to Jesus- to be our teacher.

    That’s why the Done ranks are growing in America … done with theological heresy, done with dudebros, done with pulpit personality cults, done with church abuse in various forms, done with the Christian Industrial complex … but not done with Jesus.

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  12. Fisher: I love learning from my fellow believers many of whom are uneducated and some of whom can’t even read, as they hear the word of God and respond to it in simple but powerful ways.

    “When they saw the complete assurance of Peter and John, who were obviously uneducated and untrained men, they were staggered. They recognised them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)

    The problem in the American church is that we have far too many folks in the pulpit who have not been with Jesus. Heck, I can take you to churches in my area where there are pastors who won’t even mention His name today! It’s all about “God”, but nary a word about Jesus, and no mention of the Holy Spirit.

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  13. Fisher: We do not need seminary educated men to tell us what the Bible says.

    Seminary educated men, seminary educating men (professors):
    1. Do they tell us what the Bible says?
    2. Do they teach from the entire Bible?
    3. Do they hunt and peck through the Bible to selectively prove their point, their “teaching”, their so-called theology, their theories, their proclivities & culture & bias?
    4. Do they address what church is – a target-rich safe place for predators?
    5. Do they hold church predators to account?
    6. Do they protect and defend victims of church predators?
    7. Where are their books and blogs that expose church predators?
    8. Where are their initiatives (books, blogs, platforms, conferences, lawsuits, charges, databases) to make the church a safe place for people who are NOT church predators?
    9. Is their work all about “selling” the Gospel – trips to the Holy Land and Greece and Rome, books, speaking engagements, anything gospelly to make a buck? Are they the moneychangers in the Temple?
    10. In decades, even centuries of seminary education, what men have come even close to the work of Marg Mowczko?

    A contrast to seminary educated men is what one woman discovered during her seminary education:

    Marg Mowczko is an Australian theologian writing numerous online articles about the mutuality and equality of men and women in Christian marriage, theology, and ministry, plus Bible studies and articles about our new life in Jesus. Take a look around. It’s an extraordinary website exploring the biblical theology of Christian egalitarianism: http://www.margmowczko.com

    Seminary education: Why bother? Why become a gospel salesman? Why be the moneychanger in the Temple? Why join the cadre of theobros that are either preying on church people or ignoring/covering for the predators? Why become a Scribe or Pharisee, an enemy of Jesus? Why would one leverage faith for material gain? Is faith really a moneymaking career? Why spread lies, put Jesus on the Cross, do the faith life as a racket for the trifecta of power/pleasure/profit?

    When a seminary professor advertised his Greece trip, the travels of Paul, on his blog, I commented that for the ones who could not afford the trip, they could enlighten themselves at home with tools for learning about the ministry of Paul the Apostle. The Dear Leader seminary professor removed my comment. He puts out “important” book after book (when for those who can’t afford his books, the Bible is enough), and sells trip after trip to fund his own travels. When he removed my comment, he proved his motive.

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  14. ES: he will only “repent” when he has run out of other options

    Any repentance as a last option is not genuine repentance.

    Saying you are sorry is not repentance, crying without tears is not repentance, a half-hearted pledge to do better is not repentance, turning a deaf ear to the cries of victims/survivors is not repentance, being restored to the pulpit by unqualified elders is not repentance, bowing to a standing ovation when you make a comeback is not repentance, etc. etc.

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  15. Max: Done ranks are growing in America

    Done with paying for the free gift of salvation, and the free gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church, through the church – the Body of Christ. (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4 list the free gifts that church leaders say we need to pay for.)

    Done with financially supporting predator church leaders. Done with church leader predators’ reboot.

    Done with church leader celebrities.

    Done with church as showbiz. Chollywood.

    Done with …

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  16. Max, Ava, Fisher, you have blessed me today. And been my “group.”

    I ask prayers for our region, a much wider loop this time of at least two states. Covid is acting up again. Locally our official case count has tripled in the last week, and we are warned most are not reporting or testing that are never the less infected. Our local hospital percentage of all patients with covid is rising quickly. And in the neighboring state I know of at least one nursing home with a huge number of both residents and staff testing positive.

    All this in an area where most refuse the vaccines and most refuse the antiviral meds. Does not bode well.

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  17. There is no perfect system, but bad seminaries might be the worst system. Over time and around the world, seminaries, preachers, and believers have heard the Holy Spirit say contradictory things about many passages in the Bible, e.g., 1 Corinthians 14:33-36:

    (As in all the churches of the saints, women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?)

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  18. Ken F (aka Tweed): The ancient Didache has a warning about prophets “trafficking in Christ.”

    The New Testament didn’t think much about frauds either:

    “When Simon saw how the Spirit was given through the apostles’ laying their hands upon people he offered them money with the words, “Give me this power too, so that if I were to put my hands on anyone he could receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “To hell with you and your money! How dare you think you could buy the gift of God! You can have no share or place in this ministry, for your heart is not honest before God.” (Acts 8:9-25 Phillips)

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  19. Ava Aaronson: Done with …

    The most genuine believers who have ever walked the earth were done with counterfeit religion and its snares. The Church within the church has always been with us … but, here lately, more of the Body of Christ appear to be choosing to exit rather than participate in counterfeit belief and practice. It just ain’t worth it!

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  20. Jeffrey Chalmers: I personally do not want “religious leadership” because the standards of behavior that I would impose on myself would probably “disqualify” me in MY own eyes… ( P.S…. I am NOT saying I am predator of the underaged…)

    This is the same exact comment I would make. Timothy and Titus, when we are honest, disqualifies many of us, but for different reasons. We have repeated the sin of Israel. They wanted a king and God warned them about the abuse they would suffer with kings. We do not want to be priests so we go lazy and hire them and then place a heaping pile of high expectations on them that wreck their lives and their families lives. Then it all falls down around us and we question God Himself about the dumpster fire we have created. But easier to blame God for that. Then we turn around, having learned absolutely nothing and do it all over again! Or we walk away from the faith not realizing that the one we have followed is not actually the same one that Jesus preached.

    I know of a situation where a convicted child molester who plead guilty decades ago is now a head deacon and on a pastor’s search committee after the old one retired. Apparently he is there because no one else wants to do this there. And so a dying church is kept on life support looking for a new king. And so pragmatism wins out over Timothy and Titus. We all know how this story is going to end…

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  21. Friend: Somehow the absolute normalcy of women preaching continues to escape the notice of many Christians.

    If my Mama hadn’t preached to me as a young man to walk the straight and narrow, no telling where I would have ended up. Then I married a woman who kept preaching!

    I all seriousness, some of the best Bible teachers/preachers I have ever sat under were women (the Baptists would never call them preachers, but they were!). The gender on your birth certificate doesn’t matter when it comes to God using you for His work … portions of the church have a problem getting that.

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  22. Ava Aaronson: Not preaching.

    Well, you should be!! When enough Dones are done, when authoritarian men run out of steam and are done, when counterfeit belief and practice are done, there will be room in the last days Church (the real one) for women in every capacity – utilizing all the gifts that God has given them. That is the Bride without spot or wrinkle that Jesus is coming back for (right now our spots and wrinkles are showing).

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  23. Max: The most genuine believers who have ever walked the earth were done with counterfeit religion and its snares.

    Problem is, Max, the de facto definition of “counterfeit religion” is “THINE, NOT MINE!”
    Closely related: “You have a (sneer) ‘Relgion’; I HAVE A (smiiile) RELATIONSHIP!”

    Yes, I have seen too much Christianese One-Upmanship games.

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  24. elastigirl: i’m regularly amazed how easily pastors find it to lie by omission, half-truths, embroidered truth, manipulation/misdirection/deflection.

    But that isn’t really lying.
    Like what Douggie ESQUIRE did to his Handmaid wasn’t Tab A in Slot B, so it wasn’t really adultery.
    LOOPHOLE! LOOPHOLE LOOPHOLE!

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  25. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    P.S. And don’t forget the “not really cussing” of “heck”, “darn”, and “Let’s Go Brandon (Clap! Clap! Clap!)”. The last-mentioned was a favorite “I WASN’T CUSSING! YOU’RE THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM!” over at Wondering Eagle of this blog’s former regular troll, Seneca.

    And my NPD/Sociopath brother had this shtick of cussing “GOD BLESS!” in a voice tone of utter venom. Unfortunately, our parents had this almost-Aspie inability to distinguish voice tones.

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  26. Max: there will be room in the last days Church (the real one) for women in every capacity – utilizing all the gifts that God has given them. That is the Bride without spot or wrinkle that Jesus is coming back for (right now our spots and wrinkles are showing).

    Apparently, disenfranchising women in the Body of Christ is a spot or a wrinkle, for one.

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  27. Max: A minister/ministry is walking on dangerous ground to reject what God gives it.

    Just happened to read Esther 4 today. The chapter ends with:

    “So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.”

    Note to the Comps: a guy here is taking orders from a young lady, to save their nation. In the end, success. No way can this be a bad deal.

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  28. Ava Aaronson: Applicable today, here in the US, in any case. Lots of high-brow real estate, with fancy-schmancy Green Rooms right off the stage. Security check points in place. Exclusive entry into the swanky inner sanctums.

    And ranting from the stage about Those Filthy Rich Romish Papists and their fancy Cathedrals.

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  29. Jeremy: they are NOT ALL pedophiles.

    Furthermore, in what youth groups are young people NOT being groomed?
    The question.

    Church youth activities seem to be a target rich environment for adults of all ages who prefer the “younger ones” – including some adults that are pedophiles.

    We were helping assist, serving hot chocolate and lattes, at a Sunday night church rock band type worship service that attracted youth. Sure enough, there were the unattached greying but buff extreme sports dudes looking for their next chick fix among the fresh faced young naïve ladies. Just too obvious what was going on. Sick. The starry-eyed young ladies being late teens to early twenties, the buff but a tad faded and grizzly old guy dudes being 40-50 something. About 20-30 years difference, at least. Yuck. Very predatory on the part of the men, though not quite pedophilia in this case.

    When church is all about attract whomever for good times or whatever, but light on evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship (light on Jesus), the social constructs of church quickly descend to the lowest bar of humanity.

    Neither Jesus nor the disciples had rock bands and hot chocolate. Nothing wrong with that stuff, but just sayin’ they did not attract crowds with these sorts of accoutrements. They shared Good News without serving up good times.

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  30. Ava Aaronson,

    By this reasoning all schools are predatory zones as well. There are a number of instances of teacher abuse by both male and female teachers alike, should we just broadly categorize All teachers as pedophiles as well? Schools are implementing programs to draw and attract young people in a variety of ways. Should condemn them all because some are abusive? It’s just not true to affirm this kind of generalization.

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  31. Sometimes they are on the side of the offender and sometimes they are on the side of the victim. Just like every legal case ever filed but you are nit addressing the point. The original post quoted a generalized statement about all church leaders being pedophiles which they are not and my point was that this type of statement needs correction. As for church leaders not being jailed for their crimes a simple Google search will find that also is not true. Those that do however are not unique to our legal system, people avoid consequences for crimes all the time because of technicalities, errors by criminal justice officials etc. There is nothing unique about the topics discussed on this board but the discussion loses credibility when it is not done well. Talk to any Child Protective Services or Juvenile Justice/ Probation official and you will see the reality of what is typed here. It doesn’t make it right, in fact it may be more frustrating but categorizing a whole group of people is not ok. People on this board get fired up anytime anyone makes a generalized statement about bloggers or discernment groups and rightly so that is not a valid form of debate.

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  32. I am still concerned about the continued deception and lack of responsibility this email shows from the church. They knew Derek was grooming boys the entire time. This was verbalized by the victims to the elders in 2020 and yet only now are they bringing this information forward as if they didn’t know before. This is not true. It is true they didn’t understand or know what grooming was, but it is not true that they didn’t know Derek was grooming young boys. The email is deceptive.
    Not only that, but the timing is only after the victims are paid out to be quiet. Why? Why only bring information forward now? This shows they are still more interested in making themselves look good and not losing out.

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